Cold weather blamed in trailer fire

Warren County firefighters stand on the front porch of a trailer destroyed by fire at 241 Punch Run Road on Tuesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County fire officials reported Tuesday a rash of cold weather related calls, including a fire that destroyed a trailer in the morning.

Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico said the fire at 241 Punch Run Road in the Buckton area was one of five attributed to the bitter cold within a 24-hour period that began at mid-afternoon Monday.

Maiatico said fire crews also responded to one brush and three residential chimney fires, all of which were quickly contained with minor damage.

Firefighters from stations throughout the county were dispatched to the trailer fire at about 9:34 a.m. They arrived at the scene to find a single-wide house trailer engulfed in flames and smoke, Maiatico said.

Two occupants escaped without injury and received emergency assistance from the American Red Cross.

Sean Deem, a North Warren volunteer firefighter, stands outside the porch of a trailer off Punch Run Road in Warren County in subfreezing temperatures after fire destroyed the structure Tuesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

Maiatico said the fire started when the occupants tried to thaw frozen water pipes.

“They were using a propane heater in an attempt to radiate heat to frozen pipes,” Maiatico said. “It ignited insulation in the crawl space.”

Maiatico said the trailer was a total loss and estimated damage at $75,000.

County fire stations responding to the fire included Portsmouth, Front Royal, Rivermont, North Warren, Linden and Shenandoah Shores.

Maiatico and Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie urged county residents to be especially alert to fire hazards in cold weather and follow sound prevention practices.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

Warren County career firefighter Sean Grubbs flows water onto flames. Rich Cooley/Daily